Category Archives: support all kids

Heavenly Bodies: The Joy of Being a Rock Star!

This past weekend, I did my new “Divaluscious” workout (honoring the academy awards) at the Operation Fitness Expo at the Century City Mall near Beverly Hills, CA.  I was so very lucky and honored to have some very, very special women with me from NAAFA-LA including Coral, Julianne, Anita and Terry.  We all donned our feather boas, big blingy sparkly rings and strutted on to the stage.  We boogied down to some great size-positive tunes and rocked the crowd of several hundred people that were hanging about.  Perhaps the best part is for minutes after we finished, brightly colored feathers continued to swirl about in the breeze like a super-awesome technicolor snow.  Yup, we were so powerful we changed the WEATHER.  That’s just the way we roll.  The event producer called the next day to say how much he loved watching us.  “You guys were ROCK STARS!” he exclaimed.

I have to admit, being referred to as a “Rock Star” feels pretty darn good.  I mean compared to all of the other things I’ve been called in the past few weeks, rock star is one that I’ll take.  But it struck me what an amazing contrast this posed to the recently released (and subsequently unreleased, soon to be re-released) Habit Heroes exhibit at Disney’s Epcot Center in Florida.  This exhibit was designed to help kids learn healthy habits by highlighting healthy heroes like “Will Power” and “Callie Stenics”.  Unfortunately they also highlight some bad guys like, “Sweet Tooth” and “Lead Bottom” and “The Snacker” (pictures below) who look an awful lot like terrible caricatures of fat people in our country.  Amidst the epic poo storm of controversy over the potential for this exhibit to shame and harm children of all sizes, Disney has closed the exhibit and the accompanying website for “retooling”.  (Which is Disney speak for rethinking the exhibit while the studio marketing folks retool their resumes).

Which leads us all back to the rock star thing.  Why can’t we make healthy role models for kids who don’t look like SI Swimsuit Models?  Why can’t the health role models for kids be as diverse as, you know, the kids?  How can we help ALL kids feel like rock stars?  I humbly submit that there are some answers in the picture below:

This picture shows the NAAFA-LA girls strutting their stuff in all their boaed and bejeweled glory right along with some thin people.  Up front and center, you’ve got a little kid dancing along.  And what message is this kid learning?  That fat people are sad and should stay home and hide until they get skinny?  That fat people never exercise?  That fat people and thin people are different species from one another?  Nope!  She’s learning that people of all sizes have the right and the ability to get out and shake their stuff!

This is why we women of ALL sizes need to let our inner rock stars shine through.  Not just because it feels awesome.  (And it CAN feel awesome!)  But because it gives kids of all sizes some REAL healthy heroes to admire and emulate.

So my dear chicklettes, I implore you.  Get yourself some bling, some righteous tunes, and go shake it like the rock star you are!

The Fat Chick

The Power of Identification

Out on the town with friends Ragen, Julianne and Rose

Stay tuned for a super special new project announcement at the conclusion of this blog post.  Thank you!

I remember when I was very first starting to accept my body.  When I was what size acceptance folks lovingly refer to as a “baby fat”.  Somebody who is new to the notion that beauty and health happen at all sizes.  I had read some statistics that indicate that fat is not a death sentence, and that helped.  But something was missing.  Then I went to my first NAAFA convention and a whole lot of things changed in a hurry.  The reason was simple.  It’s one thing to talk about size acceptance.  It’s a whole other thing to be in a hotel with several hundred other fat people who are dancing, romancing, swimming, singing, exercising, sharing and generally having a heck of a good time.  I honestly never believed that health and happiness were possible at every size until I saw it, on a grand scale with my own eyes.  Finally I had found a group with which I could identify.

This is what is so very dangerous and damaging about fat hatred and fat bigotry.  We shame fat people into believing that they are dangerously other.  Like Frankenstein’s monster, we fat folk are another species, incapable of blending with society.  It’s bad enough when we do this to adults.  But it is especially damaging when we do this to children who may not be mature or sophisticated enough to understand that being shunned is a failing of the hater not the hated.  And we do this to children who may be in a somewhat sheltered environment, where they may feel they are the only fat kid in the class or even the whole town.

That is one of the reasons why groups like NAAFA and ASDAH are so very important.  I’m proud of my role as Vice President on the ASDAH board and for the work I’m doing with NAAFA-LA.  And I am deeply grateful that I have my amazing colleagues with whom I may work, dream and share.  And this is why the work that Marilyn Wann is doing with the “I STAND against weight bullying” project and Ragen Chastain is doing with the Support All Kids project is so important.  Imagine the impact that hundreds and hundreds of size positive people and messages can have on a child who feels isolated and alone.  What would it mean to a child to look up and see a billboard in their town depicting kids who look like them, and are healthy, happy and comfortable in their own skin.  You don’t have to just imagine it.  We are very close to realizing it.  We need just over 200 people to donate to the Stand 4 Every Body project in order to unlock an amazing $5000 challenge grant from More of Me to Love.  Today is ask a friend day.  Ask a friend to donate just $1 to make this dream a reality for kids of size in Georgia.

And here’s the super cool announcement I promised at the opening of this post.  Along with my super cool friends Ragen Chastain and Jayne Williams, I will be launching a new social web space called the Fit Fatties Forum on March 3.  This will be an amazing space where athletes of all sizes can gather, encourage one another, share photos, triumphs and war stories and learn from one another.  The “Ask a Fit Fatty” section will allow you to get answers to all your burning fitness questions.  And perhaps most importantly, we’re creating a space where you can identify with other fathletes.  You may be the only fat aerobics instructor at the club, or fat runner in the 5K or fat scuba diver on the boat.  But my dear Chicklette, you are not alone–never alone.  Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

The Fat Chick